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-1920

Death of Harald and Astri Dahl; birth of Roald Dahl's sister Asta

In February 1920 Roald Dahl's older sister Astri dies from an infection following a burst appendix, aged seven.

Weeks later, Roald's father Harald dies of pneumonia at the age of 57. Roald describes his death in Boy, saying: "[Astri's] sudden death left him literally speechless for days afterwards. He was so overwhelmed with grief that when he himself went down with pneumonia a month or so afterwards, he did not much care whether he lived or died."

This tragic series of events leaves Roald's mother, Sofie Magdalene, with five children in her care: Roald and his two sisters, Alfhild and Else, plus Harald's children by his first marriage, Ellen and Louis. At the time of her husband's death she was also pregnant with Roald's younger sister, Asta, born in the autumn of 1920. 

So at the age of 35, Sofie is left to face the prospect of bringing up six children on her own, and at some considerable distance from Norway, the country of her own birth.

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-1921

Roald Dahl's family move to Llandaff, Wales, UK

Following the death of Astri and Harald and the birth of Asta, the Dahl family - Roald, his sisters, his mother Sofie and his older half-brother and half-sister - return to Llandaff, moving from Radyr to a smaller home called Cumberland Lodge. 

Soon after this, Roald begins kindergarten at Elmtree House nursery school in Llandaff together with his sisters Alfhild, Else and Asta. Their teachers were two sisters named Mrs Corfield and Miss Tucker.

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-1923

Roald Dahl attends the local Llandaff Cathedral School

From September 1923 until 1925, Roald attends the local Llandaff Cathedral School, an all-boys Preparatory School. 

During his time at Llandaff, Roald and his friends stage “the great and daring Mouse Plot" - involving a local sweet shop, its miserable and dirty owner Mrs Pratchett, and a dead mouse. Roald tells the story in detail in his 1984 memoir Boy.

Picture shows Roald with his sisters Else and Alfhild around 1923.

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-1925

Roald Dahl begins his schooling at St Peter's, Weston-super-Mare

Roald begins his schooling at St Peter's, Weston-super-Mare.

In 1925 Roald leaves Llandaff Cathedral School and is sent from his home in Wales to his first boarding school – St Peter’s, in the English town of Weston-super-Mare. In Boy, Roald described boarding school as "the first great adventure of my life," but he was very homesick at first. A few weeks into his first term, he even pretended to have appendicitis so he could be sent home for a few days.

Roald remains at St Peter’s for four years, leaving in 1929 aged 13.

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-1929

Roald Dahl moves to Repton, where he spends the rest of his schooldays

In 1929, Roald leaves St Peter's and moves to board at Repton, a famous British Public School near Derby. He documents some of the more memorable events that happened during his time at Repton in Boy, including tales of eccentric school masters, Boazers, toilet-seat warming and chocolate tasting - pupils at Repton were invited to trial chocolate bars for a famous company, a memory that stayed with Roald throughout his life and partially inspired Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roald left school in 1934 at the age of 18.

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